Wednesday, February 5, 2014


As I'm pressing on in the battle over a lifetime of obesity, I read so much about other fighters and how they have won this battle over the flesh.  It is such an encouragement to me to see that yes it really can happen.  It doesn't happen overnight and everyone has a different story.  I saw this blog tonight and I saw this precious lady bare her soul to all of us and I was so incredibly humbled.  Here is her story in video

You can find this precious girl and her blog at:  It is certainly worth a trip over to her blog for incredible encouragement!

This gives me the oompf to not give in right now.  To say no to the temptations that call out to me.  I will say that with Trim Healthy Mama, I'm not hungry.  I just have to choose well and not give in! Tonight was a really yummy dinner.  I had the pulled pork fajita meat in two carb balance tortilla's with purple onion and dry slaw mix sprinkled in.  I did have about a tablespoon of bbq sauce to give it flavor.  I know that's not on plan, but it made my dinner yummy and I certainly am not going to gain weight on a tablespoon of sauce!  I'm making this real.  If I'm going to win this victory, it has to be real.  It has to be for life.

Philippians 3:12

New International Version (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

I have to keep pressing on to the goal!  I learned a long time ago that press means to go forward with determined and energetic effort without ceasing!  Gotta get there!

Blessings from the Hilltop!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Family Menu Plan

This week I'm trying to make my menu based on what I have in my pantry.  I still have to go to the store, but it's not a full out grocery list.  It's just the milk, eggs, cheese and frozen strawberries list! So here it goes:

Breakfasts: Oatmeal with apples (times 3)
                   pancakes, sausage, eggs and toast for kids
                   cinnamon muffins for kids, lemon MIM for me
                   sausage breakfast bake

Lunch: (Don't you just wish lunch could go away?!)
             burritos with cheese and apples (times 3)
             grilled cheese or pbj (times 3)

Dinner: Sausage Soup with homemade rolls, Shredded Pork Fajitas with onions and peppers,
            Oven baked burger w/bacon and cheese, roasted potatoes (for hubby and kids) salad for me,
            spaghetti and meat sauce, rolls and salad, Homemade pizza, Fooled Ya Pizza for me (page 276                     in the THM book),  chicken with broccoli and salad and crock-pot taco soup.

I try to fix the same thing for the family and make minor adjustments for me.  If I make pancakes, I make myself THM pancakes.  If I'm making muffins, I make enough for snacks later in the day for the kids and then MIM (muffin in a mug) for myself.  Simplification is my word this year.  So my meals have to fall in line!  That means If the kids are eating a sandwich, I'm going to have a form of one too.  I will use sprouted grain with turkey or chicken.  This week, I'm really trying to make sure I'm getting plenty of E meals!  When we eat tacos, I use the Carb Balance tortillas.  I love those! Many of my meals are throw together or what I've gleaned off of Pinterest.  Be patient with me while I learn to link my recipes.  If you see something and wonder about the recipe feel free to ask!

This week the meals I'm trying off of Pinterest are: ,  I'm not sure if this is the way to do this, but I'll figure it out.  I love the lemon MIM.  I usually top it with frozen blueberries that I have heated and added a bit of sweetener.  I also like to add chia seeds to this.

The way I make Sausage Soup: I use a box of chicken or beef stock, whatever sausage I have, like turkey smoked sausage or today I'm using an organic chicken, spinach and asiago cheese one.  Slice up what your family would eat.  This is the time that I use less meat, because it's a meal accent.  I add a large Aldi can of crushed tomatoes, a can of water, a can of white beans, seasonings like salt and pepper.  Before I add any of the ingredients I saute an onion and several cloves of fresh garlic then throw in the sausage.  After that is cooked I add the other ingredients and simmer all day or an hour, whatever I have time for.  About 15 minutes before we eat, I throw in several large handfuls of spinach.  I also add some red pepper flakes.  It gives it a little kick.

To fill up hollow legs and tummies, I will round out meals with lots of bread for the family.  Today I'm making dinner rolls, and bread.  That will help be a cheap filler! Later I will post about snacks.  Happy cooking!

Hilltop Blessings,
PSALM 34:8
New International Version (NIV)
"Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time Flies When.....

Well it's been exactly two years since the last time I posted!  Time flies when  you are growing up four children and a husband!  I have been on a journey to peace.  Peace in my heart, peace in my home, peace no matter what the circumstances!

God the lover of my soul, who loves me even when I'm not lovable, has seen me through the dark places and the places of real joy!  In these two years, we have entered the "teen years"!  Ben is 14 and Daniel 13.  Wow, not as bad as I had heard, but definitely a challenge.  These menboys are growing, changing and EATING their way into becoming men!.  They are definitely a joy and a delight to my heart.  Jonathan 11, is ever my busy boy!  He is my wood chopper, my wood hauler and intent with tackling the "gift" of dyslexia. Then there is Katie.  Those of you who have followed me in the past, know that we adopted Katie and that she has had considerable health problems.  She is such a fighter.  This past Spring she came off the medication that was being used to help treat her Neutropenia.  She is healthy and seems to have licked this terrible blood disorder.  The Oncologists, have not released her yet, but I bet it won't be long!

I have been learning the ins and outs of Trim Healthy Mama!  I love it and have lost almost 25 pounds!  I should have lost more, but I know Rome was not built in a day!  If you have struggled with  your weight or just want to be healthy, this is an awesome plan.  My intention for returning to my blog was to journal about my menus and path to a healthy body.  I want to be able to win this fight for health in my mind, body and spirit.  I know that will honor the Lord and it will bring Him glory, because only He can do it through me!

Hilltop Blessings,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Change Number One: REST

I'd say Happy New Years, but that is sort of belated.  I could say: How are your New Year's resolutions....?  But that's kinda private especially if they aren't going so well....Sooo I just want to say Hi!  I'm glad you're here.

I'll let you see into a little window of my life.  It's not a window I open very wide or often, but it's there.  It got opened without my choosing on December 29, when the ER staff thought I might be having a stroke!  Yep that's right.  I was numb on my left shoulder and the left side of my face.  It was so not fun!  It really scared me.

I got to spend the night in the ER because there was no room in the inn (hospital)!  The tales that could be told about life in an ER!  Anyway, it all boiled down to my Thyroid was wacko and I was so sleep deprived that I was having a major anxiety attack (I'm sure a numb face didn't help!) and it all bottomed out that I've been doing so much and not taking care of myself.  That's a really bad place to get to by the way!

I left the hospital with an appointment with another Dr., meds. and lots to think about!  I've struggled with my weight my whole life.  There has been unimaginable pain associated with it and time has healed most wounds and God has been so faithful to carry me up this mountain, that I certainly can't stay there!  Of course, while they thought I was stroking, I was thinking that I had brought this on myself and I deserved the consequences of my indulgence.  Well, while those thoughts are sobering, they aren't necessarily all true.  Therefore, I had once again allowed my mind to drift from the peace of the Lord and flow into the river of lies that the enemy loves to bathe any takers!

Once home, I made some hard decisions.  The most important was to get some sleep.  No more staying up late (midnight) and getting up early (6am).  I had to get some real rest.  That has taken considerable effort.  I shut things down at 10:30 now.  It's is so hard to just stop, but I have and it's amazing how good rest feels! 

Psalm 127:2  
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

I had just been working and doing so much that I certainly had lost sight of this verse.  I was anxious and I just kept working and doing and ....just one more thing..... Ever been there?  I looked at a picture of myself from the holidays and I think the circles under my eyes were down to my chin!  The only beauty treatment for those babies has been sleep.  Those circles are inching their way back up my face! 

In keeping with my new commitments, I'm going to stop here and go to bed.  I'll be back and share what else has happened. 

Hilltop Blessings!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Past...Christmas Present and Future.....

  That picture was taken last Christmas.  It was probably one of the darkest times of my life.  We didn't know what was going to happen with Katie.  We didn't know what her prognosis was going to be.  I thought to myself Christmas will never be the same.  At the time it was stated with all the drama this sanguine could muster up in her melancholy state of mind.

I was right.  I will never look at any Christmas that way again.  God is so good, to let us see up from the bottom of the pit.  I pulled out those Christmas ornaments I bought last year and gave them to our children to hang on the tree.  I wondered what would come to mind when I gave them out.  I wanted them to know that God brought hope to me, when I bought them.  Buying those silly little sparkly ornaments brought me hope for this year.  Hope that Katie would still be with  us.  Hope that we would again smile and laugh at the funny things of our life together.  We did. 

I was able to share with everyone my own fallen state of mind and how real God became to me when I bought the ornaments.  I was able to share that God knows our names, and He knows our times.  He knows our comings and our goings and nothing we can do can change that.  What peace and joy swept over me as I shared the ornaments with my bunch.  They snatched their ornaments and began choosing the right spot on our very junky ornament laden tree. 

Life is good, even if our doctor sent us to the hospital  last week to again have many tests run.  It's good, even if her numbers are crazy high...or crazy low.  Christmas this year is full of hope.  I've wrapped my packages, decorated our home and now it's on to making a few goodies and planning our Christmas Eve dinner.  The Lord has wrapped my heart in His care.  He will care for me, no matter what happens. 

The difference this year is that we know what we are dealing with.  We know what it can do and what we need to do if certain things happen.  That's how God's word works.  It's our guide.  It's our "help" button.  It steers us in the right direction.  It gives us strength when we are weak.  It has been my buoy this year to keep me from drowning.  The enemy so wanted to drown me in the tsunami of his evil lies, and did for a time.  But God's word brought me up out of that pit.  I can still feel so deeply all that has gone on this past year, but it's all for good.  God uses so many hard things to draw us to Him and perfect us into His image.  That's where the "American" gospel doesn't really pan out.  It's not always soft and cuddly.  Sometimes it's bone splitting hard.  But it was for Jesus too. 

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; stuck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to reveal Christ in everything we do. You never know, who you are ministering to in the trials of your own life.  You never know how many people you are touching that you never would have touched had you not been thrust into a place not of your choosing.

This Christmas, we are rejoicing in God's gift of Jesus.  The Jesus that reveals himself to us over and and over again.  As I have sung the wonderful Christmas songs this year, I just see such hope and such grace to have carried me along this year.  I'm so truly thankful. Part of that hope and grace has come through the Body of Christ.  I don't know what we would have done without the prayers and encouragement of our church friends and family.  They have carried us through the darkest of days and truly been the hands of Jesus to us. 

"But the gift of God is eternal life.  Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord".  That is one of the verses on one of our Awana CD's.  I sing it all the time in my heart (sometimes out loud too!).  I'm so thankful for the gift of Eternal Life.  I pray you are too.  I pray that this season truly is a Merry Christmas.  That you can call out to God  from the very depth of your being and rejoice in the "new born King...Who IS Christ The Lord!"

Merry Christmas From the Hilltop,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Prep Can Be Messy!

Yep...right now, my kitchen is a mess, my three year old (didn't do nothing) but my toilet has overflowed not only all over the bathroom floor, but also there was a waterfall to the basement.  I have sent the children away with my mother!  I'm alone, and it's best that way! 

I needed a moment to gather my wits about myself and face the music...or smell whichever you prefer.  I'm banking on music!  This is one of those moments, that I'm reminded of another Thanksgiving Day.  It was the last Thanksgiving my Grandmother was with us.  Since she wasn't well, my mom was in charge of the day.  As she was putting the last of the veggies down the disposal, water began to bubble up and flow out of any pipe that would take it.  What a mess.  Later they discovered that there was a broken foundation pipe.  Messes happen at the worst times!  Couldn't they come on a day that I assigned?!

There are always things that are happening in our lives that would love to get our goat!  I'm choosing to remember that it's so much better to choose thankfulness in the midst of a mess.  Oh it's so hard.  I can think of things to say and do that would make you blush! 

Thankfully, God has found a way to get my attention today.  I'm going to count it all joy and move on!  I'm going to go and clean up that crazy mess!  I had to clean the bathrooms anyway! 

I pray y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  We've been reading all the little books about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower and Squanto.  We have so much more!  We can choose to be Thankful. 

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that peace is not meant to be a heavy yoke, but to refuse peace is a heavy burden!  When I choose to not be thankful, it's the same thing.  I hate a heavy burden.  So I'm going to go and lug those nasty towels to the laundry room and get the floors cleaned and rejoice that God is good, He knows my name and this is but a minor affliction!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Hilltop Blessings,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pursue Peace!!!

Psalm 37:37
"Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace."

Psalm 85:8
"I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly."
Psalm 85:10
"Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other."

Psalm 119:165
"Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble".

Proverbs 17:1
"Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife."

In the world of homeschooling and homemaking there are so many different thoughts of what is good and right.  So much so, that a gal could get really overwhelmed in wading through the waters to peace!  I have always thought my place in the Body of Christ, homeschooling, church philosophy, all boils down to balance.  Paul and I felt like God's word to us when we married was one of BALANCE.  It made no sense then.  It's very clear now.

We are usually in the middle of most things.  No that's not lukewarm!!!  It's balanced.  Our identity does not come from eating whole grains, no that's bad, we have to eat only glutein free grains, no that's bad, all grains are bad.  Our identity does not come from our schooling choices.  We use prepared schoolbooks, no we use Charlotte Mason, no we do Unit Studies...We do a bit of each!  See what I mean? 

There are seasons.  Seasons to be especially diligent on your food choices.  Seasons to do a unit study or make a nature notebook.  There are seasons to sit and read out loud to your children.  However, not many mothers of littles can find peace if they are trying to do it all and manage special needs children, a farm, a home business, two bible studies, awana, and music lessons for all! Doesn't just reading that make you jumpy inside?!

There was a season that I was grinding wheat, making bread, cooking everything from scratch, homeschooling everyone and taking care a sick baby.  I began to be a bit grouchy.  "No I can't  help you right now, I'm cooking.  No I can't read right now, I'm doing laundry....."  I began to be no fun!  I also noticed that the children were growling at each other as well!  I had set the pace for our home. 

Peace begets peace!  When I looked at what was important to our family and let the other stuff go, was when I found peace.  We still do some of it regularly, but not all of it all the time.  The most important thing, is that none of it earns me the Holiness Crown!  None of it.  Nor does it earn me the Super Mom Who Can Do It All Crown! 

When I get to the place of Grumpy Mama, I try to figure out where I went wrong.  Sometimes unfortunately, I go even more wrong in my "Mama Bootcamp"!  I will try to whip everyone in to shape.  We get a schedule, we get a chore list, we get CRAZY!  That doesn't work either. 

When I seek peace, then I find peace.  There might be a "Mama Bootcamp", but it's different.  It is a peaceful change.  It may even be abruptly different than before, but there is peace and joy!  That is the difference. 

This week, I have been sick, which is rare for me.  I had to let some things go.  It really bugged me that I was letting our schedule go, but it was not going to bring peace or healing to me.  It's amazing, but my children are still getting their work done, the laundry isn't piling up (too badly), there are still meals each day, but I have napped my way through the entire week!  Can we continue like this?  No, but for a few days, it's brought us peace. 

The Lord promises us peace if we keep our minds on Him.  I'm so thankful that He reveals Himself to us,even in the mundane things of our lives.  He is a good and faithful God.  I pray that today in the midst of your world, you find find peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! 

Hilltop Blessings!